When do we use the verb 'demonstrates'?

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,137 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited March 2016 in IELTS Test
A lot of students, especially those doing IELTS Academic TASK 1, tend to misuse the word demonstrates.

What does 'demonstrate' typically mean in an IELTS Task 1 context?  It means to show or make something clearer.  This implies that before it was not clear but now it is clearer.

Consider this example:

The statistics clearly demonstrate the size of the economic problem facing the company.

This sentence implies that before (when no one saw the statistics) the economic problem in the company was not known. Now that the statistics can be seen, the problem is able to be understood.

Consider the statistics in this table:

A student wrote the following introduction in relation to the above table:

The given information demonstrates the percentage of use of three categories in five different countries.

What's wrong with using 'demonstrates' here?  The problem is that before figures were not shown before.  There is only one set of figures for each country in each category.  

The point: avoid using the word 'demonstrates' in the introductory paragraph of your Task 1 response.  Instead, use the most suitable word in this type of context: shows.

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